A historic church located opposite the White House has been set on fire by protesters who have been taking to the streets following the death of George Floyd.
It's thought it could be caused by a group called Antifa - anti-fascism - which Trump wants called a terrorist organisation.
Footage from the scene showed a fire raging in the basement of St. John’s Episcopal Church during demonstrations in the city on Sunday night. Clashes continued across the US over the weekend as thousands marched in support of the "Black Lives Matter" movement. While the Washington D.C. protest began peacefully, when darkness fell, some individuals began smashing up property and setting fires.
Just after 10pm, someone tore down the American flag located outside St John's and tossed it in a fire, while another protester painted graffiti on the wall which said: "The Devil is across [the] street.” Local police said that the fire was extinguished before it could do any severe damage to the church, which has been designated a National Historic Landmark and has hosted almost every President for a special service on their inauguration day.
Fire department spokesman Vito Maggiolo said it was miraculous that no lasting damage was caused by the blaze.
“I guess God was on its side,” Maggiolo noted. “It didn’t seem to have spread very much.”
The Right Rev. Mariann Budde, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, added that the fire broke out in the basement of the building, which hosts the church offices and nursery. "It’s heart-rending,” said the Rev. Robert W. Fisher, the church rector. “This is a very historic building.”
Budde added that she had stood outside the church earlier on Sunday to participate in the otherwise peaceful demonstrations. She added: “There are a lot of things to be heartbroken about, but obviously we wanted the church to be a place of haven and safety.
“It’s a building. No one’s life is gone, but we have work to do and we’ll do it. Cleaning up, rebuild and focus on the rebuilding of our country which is more important.”